Middle Ages on the Move

The Lands of the East through the eyes of travelling friars

A project by DoSt-I, in collaboration with Federico De Renzi and Simone Costanzo

The lecture series explores the experiences of travelling religious such as Dominicans, and Franciscans and the complicated creation of new cultural ties and in the lands of the Near East and Central and South Asia. Among the first Europeans known to venture there, these men left valuable accounts and testimonies of their exploits and encounters. Although the topics cover a relatively limited period (c. 1200-1500), they offer us – through both literary and iconographic evidence – an insight as much socio-political as cultural and apostolic. 

The various events and personalities involved help us to understand the complexity of worlds which, in time and space, range from the Eastern Roman Empire to the India of the Sultans, via the Mongol Empire and then to the China of the Ming. Men such as John of Pian del Carpine, Ricoldo da Montecroce and Odorico da Pordenone moved in a broad historical and cultural context. These fascinating subjects will be discussed by scholars and experts from various fields such as Medieval Studies, Turkology and Indology.

First Conference:
 Moving frontiers, shifting identities
Relations between Asia and Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
with Buket  Kitapçı Bayrı and Federico De Renzi
16th of October


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